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tv   [untitled]    April 22, 2013 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

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y street space occupancy within certain designated streets in the city and county of san francisco on saturday, may 11, 2013, and saturday may 18, 2013, as part of small business week sidewalk sales. explanatory documents: bos file no. 130285 bos file no. >> i have multiple items in your packet, a summary sheet, 17 merchant corridors, a detail sheet of all streets included. a letter, due to the legislative schedule it's already been heard in committee and past the first reading of the board of supervisors and i included the legislation. sponsored by supervisor farrel, but out of expediency we had a director presenting, i will turn it over to her. >> this is move through the regular process but i did want to make sure that i brought it before the commission so that
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you -- we do our regular serve pro forma of the regular legislation, this is a 17 hear that you have sponsored this small business sidewalk encroachment, i want to extend my appreciation to dpw director -- and his team john quong phn (sounds like)-- who work hard in doing this permits every single year to thank supervisor farrel, we have 17 margin organizations participating this year, it is very exciting and two of them will hold the sidewalk sale on may 11,
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and the remaining will be holding them on the 18th at the end of small business week. we will be buttressing small business week with sidewalk sales. and we have several -- a good number of those that are participating in the sidewalk sales are also investing in neighborhood areas as well. with that if you have any questions, as chris said, the letter is in the packet, the list of all the blocks that we have asked for the fee waiver for, and if there is any questions i will be happy to take them for you. >> chair adams: any questions on the fee waiver?
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public comment on item number five? temporary waiver of the the for small business sidewalk sales? seeing none, public comment is closed on item 5. any other commissioner comments? commissioner ortiz. >> commissioner ortiz-cartagena: i want to take time to recognizing mission creek merchants association, took 40 percent of all the fees waived. that is really good but they are using this amazing tool. >> chair adams: and they're doing a guide too this year, i am happy about that. i want to say that this is one of my favorite events for small business week, being in my previous role, with the emergence of upper market in castro, the drive it brings people
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into the neighborhood is unbelievable and i know each year we have more and more merchants participating. it's almost like a festival now, on saturday. also harvey milk week in the neighborhood which adds to it. i wanted knowledge supervisor farrel for sponsoring this legislation and the office of small business, regina and chris, you are dealing with everybody. it's a tremendous amount of work, dtw, mohammed and his staff doing a great job and i want to acknowledge everybody who did all the work to get these fees waived. i want to say thank you very much. so do we have a motion? >> i'll move. >> second. >> commissioners we have a motion from commissioner riley,
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to recommend approval of file 130285, seconded by commissioner dooley. roll call. >> chair adams: yes >> commissioner dooley: yes >> commissioner dwight:yes >> commissioner o'brien: (absent) >> commissioner ortiz-cartagena: yes >> commissioner riley: yes >> commissioner white:yes >> the motion passes 6-0, nfl could also add my appreciation for supervisor's farrel's staff as well.
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>> i like to recommend public comment. can we public comment on item 6? seeing none, public comment is closed. >> we don't need a motion on it. it is just a discussion item. it is just a discussion item. >> chair adams: next item. 7. presentation by small business owners and advocates on sfmta outreach on parking, parking meters, and bicycle projects and programs. meters, and bicycle projects and programs. meters, and bicycle projects and programs. a> > this is a discussion and possible action item. >> thank you. good afternoon. stephen cornell. polk street
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merchants association. i am happy that you decided to have a hearing on parking issues and we would like to give you today more detail up out some of the things that are happening in our neighborhoods in san francisco around parking and different things with mta, streetscape, streets, everything. hopefully this will give a chance to the small business community and the commission and some of these issues that we are experiencing with mta, which are a lot and are happening all the time. hopefully the commission can come up with some recommendation that will help change policies of the mta and also more importantly change the attitude of this particular agency. of our presentation should give you some insight about what we are dealing with in all areas of the business community.
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we are talking about issues in the retail corridor; in the business district, light industry; and the downtown areas of the city. one big goal, we in our business community and you representatives in the commission are always dealing with one thing, customer service. we always think of our customers first. the commission i feel, always thinks of their customers as the business community first, we get that feeling. the outreach that the commission does, it's a positive thing to send things out. hopefully the idea of customer service is something that you guys can bring up across during this hearing. it is really important.
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one of the first big issues is that everybody thinks they are dealing with one agency, mta< metropolitan transportation authority, but you are dealing with two agenc ies, mta and the cta, the county transportation authority. they have different boards that they are dealing with a lot of the same things. it seems like these two agencies never talk to each other. they bounced off of each other; they tell us, oh, that is the cta's problem, talk to them or the cta will say, talk to the mta, but to the general public it is one agency. hopefully during the year we will get that narrowed down, and make it a little easier so hopefully we won't have to be experts
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in government policy and government dealings to be able to deal with them. it is a big problem. a question for all of us is, what is the mta and the cta -- sorry, repeating myself, does the mta integrate of the plants with each other? in my area, polk street, there is something called the vaeness plan (sounds like) they will take up parking, take out left turns, all kinds of things but that plan has nothing to do with the plant they are looking at on polk street, window is only one block away. the cta says what happens on polk street has nothing to do with the
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vaness plan. a spokesman for the mta says that what happens on polk street has nothing to do with vanesse. it is almost like saying, the city doesn't have anything to do with the golden gate bridge at cousins not our agency so we don't have to think about it on our streets. nobody would say that but that is what they are saying to us when it comes to vanesse and polk street, and what happens on vanesse affects mission street. what happens on polk street affects fillmore street, it is a much bigger thing than just looking at things narrowly. that is something i hope that can be brought out in hearing the maybe you can find out to convince them that's the way should be. that's a series of us that will come up and talk about some of these things and
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hopefully you'll get some of the questions. thank you so much. >> chair adams: thank you. >> as a speaker comes up, speak your name for the record when you start your presentation thank you. >> mitchell berg, order of bow wow miau. in the project like the on polk street that would have the potential impact on businesses in the community that is so dramatic the business community should have been involved in the process much sooner than it was. it seems sfmta has serious outreach problems in -- and a pr problem.
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the coalition with small business has been left out of the loop. we were brought to the table at the point where we became a spoiler; the plans were drawn up without our input. the community residents and businesses seeing strongly opposed to the plan and yet we come across as a bad guy because we are trying to change plans that have already been put forward. the question is, why would the process not include the community that it will impact so dramatically and the businesses that it will impact so dramatically? they claim there was outreach but none of us saw it. we had no idea. god knows
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we are very interested in that is why there has been so much emotion, because it was after everything had been proposed that we were brought to the table. we are the spoilers and working from a position of weakness when we should've been included in the process from the very beginning. it would have meant that the board would have come up with plans that included input from everybody not go back to the drawing board. maybe we would have been much further along. why doesn't the board come and meet with businesses and the community prior to design? what kind of studies have they done regarding economic impact? from what i understand is that there are now studies. there are all these wonderful statistics provided by the bike ; coalition and small business people we don't have the resources to come up with statistics
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although if we did i'm sure that we could disprove what they are claiming to be the case. they are not talking about removing talking; they are putting bike lanes which is wonderful but we oppose the removal of parking, which will impact all the businesses in the neighborhood. did they do any research? no. anybody who owns a business knows that you can't determine when deliveries are done to your business. why does sfmta feel comfortable removing parking from small businesses while large chains move in with a large parking lots? again there seems to be a complete imbalance.
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small businesses been something to san francisco. where somebody saying get rid of it large parking lots? let's keep people as pedestrians; let's build affordable housing on those parking lots. are we going to put everybody in their cars and drive the chain stores and destroy small businesses in san francisco? is that the ultimate goal? it is not balance for small businesses. hopefully the sfmta would be better in its outreach if the goal is sincerely to include everybody in the process. so, the word " sincerity" is kind of key in this. thank you. >> chair adams: thank you very much. next speaker.
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>> good afternoon. my name is dan kowalski, i've been on polk street as a resident for 28 years, i've had a business on the corner of polk street and green stree for 7 years. my family has been in san francisco for five generations. in my lifetime i have seen the city change in a few strong directions. never before have i seen something so robust come forth from the sf mta, with a great deal of hubris, whether seem to have lost the idea of the city family which we seem to have had in this town. to repeat what stephen said, as retailers we are on the frontline; we meet everybody every day and we are part of the appeal i think of this town. we are crazy enough to be in retail
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, but we like it so much that i think we are going to stick with it and we are fearful that our way of life what we i have a passion for and really end rather abruptly if some of these changes are made. -- having to eliminate employees and through loans from family and friends, i was able to stay in business. still in my residence, we have not received one piece of mail from the sf mta saying anything about these proposals. my business is on a side street. my business has received nothing from the sf mta suggesting any of these proposals. the only way we heard about it was through a chain on the street the one of the smaller merchants associations, through a very late e-mail saying last-minute
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i want to let everybody know there is a meeting with the sf mta to approve these projects in december of last year. it is really frustrating, to get to the point to where you have invested in your business; you are good about checking your mail but you see nothing. if i had been out of town and didn't see some of this i would be late to the party just as well. there's over 300 street front businesses in the area proposed for changes. we estimate that if you look at the composite area which includes up to market and hide and both sides of vanesse, they are part of the business community, there's well over 1000 businesses. that doesn't necessarily include home-based businesses as well. and i think there will be a dramatic effect on nearly every business is there. said businesses could survive; the problem that i see is that
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the sf mta even in some of their earlier language new that some of the businesses would fail. to me that is really remarkable, that they admitted that the plants will hurt some people. what did you studies about how to keep the business alive? what not use a bottom-up approach rather than the top down approach? they showed four different proposals. each proposal showed a dramatic decrease in street parking, is not 100 percent decrease. what the issue was is pedestrian and bicycle safety, that's been lost from the equation. now it's really become admittedly a bicycle through way, north/south on polk, because it is a most level
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portion of that area. that makes it frustrating because if you go back to a study done in 2011, published in january, 2012, call the san francisco pedestrian task force there's about 25 different people on the board; is a strong representation from the mta; there is no presentation from small business so all the policies they proposed really don't have anything to do with the corridor that they are working on. they talk about the mechanics of the street but they're missing the function of the street. polk is a street design is a commercial thoroughfare with business and i can't believe that they missed it that much really the biggest thing that is also frustrating that it comes down to, the mta is moving forward so fast that they think that they just need engineers, and they just need city officials to be on their board and they don't seem to have anybody on their board
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that is small business ,or medium-size business , or large business owner to give them some guidance and counsel. it would do them well -- it would make advocates of businesses -- , we would become advocates of the sf mta if he actually had the type of representation on the board the voice that could speak for us internally on their side so we weren't the external force trying to make them change. that's it. thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> chair adams: thank you very much. >> welcome. >> good afternoon my name is dawn tenner (sounds like), the leader of the middle polk neighborhood association, in existence is the beginning of 2007, and the technical borders are california and broadway to vanesse and leavenworth.
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the issue of changing polk street came to our attention in the fall timeframe. there were some open houses that sf mta had, and the neighbors that went to these open houses were very concerned; they fit the open houses were not making sense. that there were providing options -- let's remove 75% of the parking or something close, and let's have a different version of bicycle lanes up and down polk street. the members encouraged us as an organization to get more involved in this process and we did. we invited the sf mta to come to our meeting in november; the meeting in november was again concerning,
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and what we were seeing seem to be . very one-sided it seemed that the only question that was really being answered was how do they best serve bicyclists? polk street is the heart and center of our neighborhood, that is why we are called the middle polk neighborhood association. .the merchant corridor that we have is precious to us it is the neighborhood. it defines the neighborhood. an exciting, interesting, eclectic collection of individual, independent small businesses that are doing very well in our neighborhood and we want to see them continue to do well. as such, mitchell and i got together. and brought neighbors and businesses together to have the final walk-through from the sf mta on this particular project that they were planning
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and that took place on january 24th, about 70 people showed up for that. a month and a half or little bit later, march 18th, the neighborhood polk association offered our meeting for the sf mta hearing, over four hundred merchants and residents came. with the not have the organization to bus in anyway; all those people were speaking their own truths, what they wanted to see for polk street. we should not be afraid , as people working in city hall working for our neighbors, working on behalf of our neighbors. we should not be afraid to hear our neighbors but yet there does seem to be some fear of hearing those
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voices. and what was set on the 18th of march, those 400 voices. pedestrian and bicycle safety is very important to all of us on polk street. we want polk street to be improved. let's take it and make it better place. not only okay for bicyclists, and forget about the rest of the population that may not be able to ride a bicycle or may not prefer a bicycle. or writing a bicycle just my not be healthy for them. that would be my individual case. people should not be cut out of using polk street as part of this improvement process. polk street should be used to serve everybody. and i want to say that the sf mta is working with us.
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we are meeting with them every week. i don't want to seem like they are ignoring us. they are working with us. we would like your encouragement to them that they continued to hear the neighbors and the merchants. and respond to the local efforts, and what the local people want polk street to be. thank you so much for hearing me today. >> chair >> high commissioners my name is gwen kaplan, my business is ace mailing. we are located between the folsom and mission area, 16th street.
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we have exactly the same issues in the northeast mission and in all of the eastern neighborhoods. i want to emphasize the fact that the weight we first found out about they were going to completely meter all of the eastern neighborhoods was on the telephone poles, when they put up that information. this was january, a year ago. they have had some meetings with us. i guess the thing that we are so concerned about is that there is no concern about meeting the needs of businesses. in our area we have the delivery and the pickup questions because we are pdr, production repair and distribution. we are concerned and have no understanding about why they can't notify people.
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first of all businesses are paying taxes so why can't we get all businesses from the tax rolls; secondly there are lists available to every neighborhood in business so it baffles me as a person who teaches direct marketing to uc berkeley . but they can't figure this out or take any suggestions for that that is extremely frustrating and part of the other problem is that they are doing a lot of their work out of the city. so for example when they do notify ,they are doing this out of hayward, and you can imagine that they would certainly hear this from me and they do and they promised they wouldn't do it again but so far we haven't had any other notification. so with the retail that we do have in the northeast mission we wanted to survive along with our pdr zone and at our meeting in the northeast mission we had quite it group from polk street came to our meeting a few weeks ago